Wisconsin Football Countdown: No. 34, Pat Harder


As the countdown to the first Wisconsin football game of the season continues, Badger of Honor is taking a look at Badgers by the numbers, checking in on a different Badger or Badgers players who wore the number corresponding with the remaining days until the Badgers head to Texas to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday, Sept. 5.

Next up in our countdown, signifying 34 days until college football is back, is fullback Pat Harder.

Harder, a Milwaukee native, played for the Badgers from 1941-1942.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

In 1941, Harder led the Big Ten in rushing yards (443) and points (58), and in 1942, Harder earned first team All-American status from the All-American Board, and earned second or third team designation from a number of other sources.

He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in both 1941 and 1942. In 1943 he played in the college football all-star game, and scored two touchdowns on his way to being named the MVP of the game.

Harder was the second overall selection in the 1944 NFL Draft by the Chicago Cardinals. He remains to this day the highest drafted Badgers player in school history.

Harder played for the Cardinals from 1946-50, and led the NFL in scoring for three straight season from 1947-49 (co-leader in 1949). He played with the Detroit Lions from 1951-53.

In his NFL career he scored 33 touchdowns and totaled 3,016 rushing yards. He was a NFL Champion in 1952 and a Pro Bowler in 1953.

He was an NFL referee after he retired from playing football, and was one of the officials on the field during the “Immaculate Reception” game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders. He was a ref from 1966 to 1982.

In 1969 he was voted onto the Badgers All-Time Team in conjunction with the centennial celebration of college football.

Harder passed away in 1992. In 1993 he was posthumously voted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Who wore No. 34 first?

• Halfback Pat Mohardt first wore No. 34 in 1927.

Who wears No. 34 now?

• A pair of Badgers who figure to be big-time contributors for the Badgers this season currently wear No. 34. On offense, senior fullback Derek Watt wears No. 34. On defense, redshirt sophomore defensive end Chikwe Obasih wears the number. Both should start for the Badgers and play heavy minutes in 2015.

Stay tuned to Badger of Honor as we continue our daily countdown in preparation of the season opener against Alabama.

Next: Wisconsin Football Experience

More from Badgers Alumni